As U.S. families prepare for Christmas expenses and holiday giving, Gospel for Asia’s Christmas Gift Catalog is helping people find joy through giving practical gifts that produce income for families in need.
WILLS POINT, Texas—This year as some families attempt to navigate the Christmas season of gift giving, often times exchanging items no one needs or wants, the nation is also wasting their hard-earned income.
It’s estimated by the National Retail Federation that retail spending by Americans will increase from last year to above $668 billion before the holiday season passes. Nonprofits like Samaritan’s Purse, World Vision, Gospel for Asia, Heifer International and others put together catalogs that showcase opportunities for people to use their Christmas spending to provide food and income generating gifts for people in need around the world.
People are finding more value in these gift catalogs beyond the impact that the gifts might have for those receiving the gifts. “We kind of lose sight of what the true meaning of Christmas is, and this is a practical way to be a blessing to others and also share the miracle of Christmas, that Jesus came for them,” said Nathan Nelson, project coordinator of GFA’s “Christmas Gift Catalog.” “It’s also very practical for families raising up and teaching their children not to think about themselves and the next greatest toy but become more compassionately minded toward the cares of other people.”
The catalogs offer a variety of practical gifts to support families in Asia. Eighty-five dollars can provide a sewing machine, a long-lasting source of income; $11 can purchase a pair of rabbits, which give meat or offspring to sell; and $160 can help make it possible to construct an outdoor toilet for a family. Each nonprofit has varying price points for these items depending on which area of the world they are serving.
Practical Christmas Gifts Helping Change Lives
Kanal, a father and husband in Asia who was a recipient of a pig, just one of the gifts found in GFA’s Christmas Gift Catalog says, “This pig has financially helped us in many ways. [By selling piglets], we have bought a goat and chickens, which are also going to be another source of income for our family. We do not have any problems now to pay the school fees for our children and to meet all their needs in school. … We also have purchased roofing sheets to construct our house. … I thank God for all the blessings.”
While the GFA’s catalog has been part of changing daily life for more than 1.7 million people like Kanal, it has simultaneously allowed individuals, families and churches in America to make a lasting investment in the lives of others as they celebrate Christ’s birth.
Christmas Giving Helps Families in America and Around the World
Chris Brewer, a GFA staff member who helped launch GFA’s first “Christmas Gift Catalog,” says that dual impact families in Asia and families in America is why being involved in the “Christmas Gift Catalog” is significant.
“Fathers and mothers now have the tools to feed their children and make a life for themselves. It gives them tools that have a long-lasting impact, not just a handout,” he said. “In addition, many people are excited to celebrate Christmas by giving these gifts. It gives them a way to fulfill their desire to have their lives make a difference.
Giving gifts through a tax-exempt nonprofit like Gospel for Asia and their Christmas Gift Catalog can bring whole families together to select items they would like to give. Many families make this a Christmas tradition.
Denise from Iowa, who donated blankets, a BioSand water filter, Bibles, a pair of chickens and a pair of rabbits this year, said giving gifts through the catalog is one of her favorite things to do during the Christmas season.
“I can hardly wait to get to heaven to hear the stories of how clean water saved lives or a pair of chickens sustained a family or how a blanket kept someone warm for the winter,” she said. “Thank you for doing this. I know my ordering is just the first step in getting these precious items to the people who need them the most.”
To browse GFA’s “Christmas Gift Catalog,” visit www.gfa.org/gift
To learn more about how people have found joy in giving life-changing Christmas gifts, visit http://www.patheos.com/blogs/gospelforasia/2017/10/income-generating-christmas-gifts-break-cycle-poverty-gospel-for-asia/
GFA (Gospel for Asia) has – for more than 30 years ‒ provided humanitarian assistance and spiritual hope to millions across Asia, especially among those who have yet to hear the Good News. Last year, this included more than 82,000 children, free medical services for more than 180,000 people, 6,000 wells drilled, 11,000 water filters installed, Christmas presents for more than 600,000 needy families, and spiritual teaching available in 110 languages in 14 nations through radio ministry.